Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies | Department of Political ScienceCollege of Social Sciences | University of Hawaii Manoa

The Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies

James Allen Dator

James Allen Dator

Professor, and Director
Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies
Department of Political Science
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Room 632
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA

Jim Dator is Professor and Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor in the Program in Public Administration, the College of Architecture, and the Center for Japanese Studies, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Co-Chair, Space and Society Division, International Space University, Strasbourg, France; former President, World Futures Studies Federation; Fellow and former member of the Executive Council, World Academy of Art and Science.

He also taught at Rikkyo University (Tokyo, for six years), the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, the University of Toronto, and the InterUniversity Consortium for Postgraduate Studies in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.

He received a BA in Ancient and Medieval History and Philosophy from Stetson University, an MA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Political Science from The American University. He did post graduate work at Virginia Theological Seminary (Ethics and Church History), Yale University (Japanese Language), The University of Michigan (Linguistics and Quantitative Methods), Southern Methodist University (Mathematical Applications in Political Science).

He is a Danforth Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and Fulbright Fellow.

Major Areas of Specialization:

  • Political futures studies (especially the forecasting and design of new political institutions, and the futures of law, education, and technology)
  • Space and society, especially the design of governance systems for space settlements
  • The political-economic futures of North America, the Pacific Island region, and East Asia, especially Japan and Korea
  • Media production and the politics of media, and the effects of these media on political and other human relations and consciousness

Selected Recent Research and Training Projects:

  • Samsung Futures Workshop for Korean Journalists (2011)
  • "Building A Judicial Network: An e-Business Vision for the California Judicial Branch," with the Institute for the Future, Menlo Park (2011)
  • James D. Burke, Kathleen M. Coderre, Jim Dator, Choices at Space Station End of Life, for the 15th Annual ISU Space Symposium, Strasbourg, France, February 2011
    "Bucharest Dialogues on the Futures of Higher Education: Integrating Futures Methodologies," Bucharest, Romania (2010-11)
  • "From Leisure to Work to Dreams to….?" For the ChosunBiz Insight Forum on 'Smart World, Smart Work', Seoul, Korea (2010)
  • Member, Mitigation Panel, National Research Council Committee on Near-Earth Objects, National Academies, Washington, DC (2010) Report to Congress published as Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies."
  • "The future of Korea and Jecheon though human resource cultivation," Jecheon City, Korea (2010)
  • "Through a Brushwood Door: Should Korea Become a Conserver Society?" Report to Korean Telecom (2009)
  • "Evolution and futures of governmental foresight" Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 20th Anniversary Conference and the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network 2009 Conference, Houses of Parliament, London, UK (2009)
  • "Governmental foresight? Of course!" Governmental Foresight and Future Governances project of the Korean Institute for Public Administration (2009)
  • "Campuses 2060: Futures of Higher Education", a continuing joint project with Professor Ray Yeh, the UHM College of Architecture (2008--)
  • Ten Things Every Korean Leader Must Know about Climate Change in the 21st Century, Plus Four Alternative Futures. Report for the Korean Leadership Council (2008)
  • The futures of families in countries experiencing declining fertility Report for the Korean Commission on Women and Children, Government of Korea (2007)
  • Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Legislative Task Force Kickoff Conference (2006)

Recent Publications:


  • Many Parts, One Body: How the Episcopal Church Works. Church Press, 2010
    Democracy and Futures. (with Mika Mannermaa and Paula Tiihonen). Helsinki: Parliament of Finland, 2006
  • Fairness, Globalization and Public Institutions: East Asia and Beyond (with Dick Pratt and Yongseok Seo). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006.
  • Advancing Futures: Futures Studies in Higher Education. New York: Praeger, 2002. ALSO published in Korean in 2008


Recent Articles

  • "Designing a foresight exercise for the future of rural communities in Romania," (with Fabienne Goux-Baudiment, Mihaela Ghișa, Sam Cole), Futures 43:9 November 2011
  • "What The Girl May Be Thinking," Futures 43:9 November 2011
  • "Futures Studies and Futures Research" in William Sims Bainbdridge, ed., Leadership in Science and Technlogy. Sage Reference Series, (Forthcoming 2011)
  • "Wendell Bell: The futurist who would put my grandmother in prison," Futures (May 2011)
  • "Next Generations: Reactives to Civics to Adaptives," Educational Technology and Change Journal, October 10, 2010 http://etcjournal.com/2008/10/01/jim-dator/
  • "Humans and Space: Stories, Images, Music and Dance," in Farthest Shores: A 21st Century Guide to Space, Joseph N. Pelton and Angelia Bukley, eds., Apogee Books, 2010
  • "Alternative futures at the Manoa School" Journal of Futures Studies, Vol. 14. No. 2, November 2009, 1-18.
  • "The Unholy Trinity, Plus One," Journal of Futures Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3, February 2009, p. 33 – 48. Also published in Korean in Shindonga, August 
2008, pp. 450-459.

  • "Futures and Trial Courts," Widener Journal of Law, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2009
  • "Futures, Volumes One and Two: Then and now," Symposium on the 40th anniversary of the journal Futures, Futures Vol. 40, No. 1, 2008, pp. 893–926
  • "Court Futures Dialogue" in Carol Flango, et al., ed., Future Trends in State Courts 2007. Williamsburg, Virginia: National Center of State Courts, 2007, pp. 2-17
  • "Designing governance systems for Mars," in R. Harish, ed., Space Travel and Tourism: New Frontiers. Hyderabad, India: Icfai University Press, 2007, pp. 122-130
  • "Governing the Futures: Dream or Survival Societies?" Journal of Futures Studies, May 2007, 11(4): 1 - 14
  • "Religion and war in the 21st Century," in Tenri Daigaku Chiiki Bunka Kenyu Center, ed., Senso, Shukyo, Heiwa [War, Religion, Peace], Tenri Daigaku 80 Shunen Kinen [Tenri University 80th anniversary celebration]. (Tenri-Shi, Japan: Tenri Daigaku, 2007, pp. 34-51).
  • "Alternative Futures of Policing in New Zealand," in Securing the future: Networked policing in New Zealand. Proceedings of a conference held on 22 November 2006. New Zealand Police, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 4-14.
  • "The futures of information, literacy and lifetime learning: A symphonic meditation," Reference Services Review," Vol. 34, No. 4, 2006, pp.471-.
  • "Alternative futures for K-Waves," in Tessaleno Devezas, ed., Kondratieff Waves, Warfare and World Security. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2006, pp. 311-317.
  • "Campus Futures," published simultaneously in Planning for Higher Education (Journal of the Society for College and University Planners), Vol. 34, No. 3, April-June 2006, pp. 45-48; Business Officer (Journal of the National Association of College and University Business Officers), Vol. 39, No. 10, April 2006, pp. 24-17; and Facilities Manager (Journal of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers), Vol. 22, No. 2, March/April 2006, pp. 24-27.
  • "Korea as the wave of a future: The emerging Dream Society of icons and aesthetic experience" (with Yongseok Seo), Papers of the British Association for Korean Studies, Vol. 10. 2005, pp. 1-21. Also in Journal of Futures Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1,August 2004, pp. 31-44. Also in Susan Pares and J. E. Hoare, ed., Korea: The past and the present; selected papers from the British Association for Korean Studies BAKS Papers Series, 1991-2005. Oxford: Global/Oriental, 2008
  • "Universities without 'quality' and quality without 'universities," On the Horizon, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2005, pp. 199-215. (Voted the outstanding paper for 2006); also in Marcus Bussey, Sohail Inayatullah, and Ivana Milojevic, editors, Alternative Educational Futures: Pedagogies for Emergent Worlds. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2008, Chapter 6, pp. 90-110
  • "Assuming 'responsibility for your rose,'" in Jouni Paavola and Ian Lowe, eds., Environmental Values in a Globalising World: Nature, Justice and Governance. London: Routledge, 2004, Chapter 13.


Journal Editorial Board Member:

  • Futures
  • Foresight
  • Journal of Futures Studies
  • Futures Research Quarterly
  • On the Horizon
  • Technological Forecasting and Social Change

"Man's mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes


"The future ain't what it used to be."

- Yogi Berra